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Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs
Indiana – Making Home Affordable options
Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program there are various options that can help Indiana homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Indiana homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.
There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.
Here are some of the most used options under Making Home Affordable Program:
- Lower your monthly mortgage payments with Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
- Lower your interest rate with Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
- Check eligibility for principal reduction with Principal Reduction Alternative SM (PRA)
- Get help if currently unemployed with Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
- Reduce your 2nd mortgage monthly payments with Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
- Explore your foreclosure alternatives with Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
- FHA Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP)
HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at: 888-995-4673 (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.
Food Assistance Programs, Services, and Organizations in Indiana
Indiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing the hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA.
It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies. Learn more about SNAP.
In Indiana the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) is administered by the Division of Family Resources (DFR) under the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Further, the terms “Food Stamps” and “SNAP benefits” in the text are used interchangeably.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides federal grants and oversees the operation of Indiana SNAP. The Indiana DFR is responsible for establishing eligibility for SNAP and assures timely and accurate delivery of the benefits. According to DFR “the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed to raise the nutritional level of low income households. It enables low-income families to buy nutritious food through Electronic Benefits Transfer.
Who is Eligible for Indiana SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Indiana are based on residency, limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, work requirement and other factors depending on the applicant case. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.
The federal law allows States some flexibility when using the federal grants to implement SNAP on State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of the low‐income local population.
Indiana Food Stamps Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
Indiana applicants for SNAP benefits must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- State of Indiana Resident – must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Work Requirement – unless exempted, each able-bodied member of the household between 18-50 years old must work, be registered to work or participate in the IMPACT employment and training program;
- Resource Limits – have countable household assets limited to $2,250 or less ($3,250 or less for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age or older), vehicles used for household transportation are not counted;
- Income Limits – Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income is household total income, before taxes or any deductions. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits etc.
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Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
Some Indiana residents may be automatically or so called categorically eligible for Food Stamps if they already participate in other means tested assistance programs. Getting benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), funded by federal grants, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for SNAP benefits categorically eligible, thus bypassing the income eligibility and any asset eligibility rules. Under the federal SNAP regulations, States can assign a gross income limit of 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL) or less in order to use any TANF-funded benefit that can make food stamps applicants eligible.
You can always call 1-800-403-0864 with any question on Indiana SNAP eligibility.
Quick Eligibility Check
Indiana residents interested in food assistance can use this Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool, provided by the Federal Government, to find out if they might be eligible to get Indiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (Food Stamps). The Screening allows potential applicants for Indiana food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits.
Although the Pre-Screening Tool provides information on SNAP eligibility immediately – it is not an application for benefits.
Actual application for SNAP benefits must be made at your local Indian Division of Family Resources office. Even you are unsure whether you qualify you should still apply.
What is Maximum Dollar Amount of Indiana SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
If approved, the Indiana SNAP benefit amounts depend on the household size and its monthly net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month per household. This is the maximum amount of benefits a household will receive based on $0 income. The greater the household’s net income, the lesser than max amount of SNAP benefits will be received. Check below what are the maximum food assistance amounts an Indiana household can get per month. The SNAP allowed benefits per month are called allotments.
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Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments
How to Apply for SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps) in Indiana?
Households in Indiana can apply for food assistance in the county in which they live. Interested in getting SNAP benefits can go and get the application from a local County DFR office.
The Application for SNAP and Cash Assistance can be accessed and print from Indian Family and Social Services Administration site.
In Indiana one application is used to apply for SNAP Food Assistance and Cash Assistance. You can use the application to apply for both, food assistance and cash assistance.
Complete all required information, and turn your application into the local County DFR office where you live. You can submit the SNAP application only with your name, address and signature – the DFR office has to accept the application with the current date. However, providing a complete application will result most likely in a quicker eligibility determination.
A DFR worker has to interview you to decide if you are eligible for benefits. If eligible, you will start receiving SNAP benefits from the date the office received your signed application.
Indiana SNAP Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
Department of Human Services office worker has to interview you and verify provided information before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP benefits. Here are some examples of information and proofs you may be asked to provide at the interview:
- Valid I.D. showing the name of the applicant
- Date of birth
- Proof of address
- Social security numbers for everyone in the household;
- Proof of all household income;
- Proof of the amount of money all in the household have in bank accounts
- Proof of legal alien status for anyone who is not a U.S. Citizen
- Medical bills for anyone in the household who is age 60 or older or who get disability check
- Current proof of rent or mortgage expenses;
- Proof of child care expenses;
- Proof of obligated child support payments paid to someone outside the household.
The law limits the SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-50 without dependents, who are not working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours each week. In Indiana, this is the IMPACT Employment and Training Program (E & T). It is an employment and training program for adults in households getting Indiana SNAP benefits.
To purpose of Indiana Manpower and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) is help recipients of SNAP and TANF benefits engage in education, training, job search, job placement activities, and eventually transition to economic independence.
SNAP benefits recipients in Indiana can be exempted from the work requirement provision if they are under 18 or 50 years of age or older, responsible for the care of a child or incapacitated household member, or medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment, or pregnant.
Applicants waiting for SNAP benefits approval in Indiana should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DFR office. Households cannot receive food stamps assistance from more than one Indiana county in a month. Households getting food stamps benefits must report any changes of their household situation in a period of time determined by the DFR office in order to assure their participation in the Indiana SNAP.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?
Approved for Indiana SNAP benefits applicants get an Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) card – the Hoosier Works card. The EBT card can be used like a debit card at any Indiana food stamps grocery stores and farmers markets. Food assistance benefits are deposited into an EBT account of the beneficiary each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.
Benefits are made available from the 5th to the 23rd of every month, based on the first letter of the client’s last name.
First Letter of the Last Name is: A or B = benefits available on the 5th
First Letter of the Last Name is: C or D = benefits available on the 7th
First Letter of the Last Name is: E, F, or G = benefits available on the 9th
First Letter of the Last Name is: H or I = benefits available on the11th
First Letter of the Last Name is: J, K, or L = benefits available on the 13th
First Letter of the Last Name is: M or N = benefits available on the 15th
First Letter of the Last Name is: O, P,Q, or R = benefits available on the17th
First Letter of the Last Name is: S = benefits available on the 19th
First Letter of the Last Name is: T, U, or V = benefits available on the 21st
First Letter of the Last Name is: W,X,Y, or Z = benefits available on the 23rd
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Indiana EBT Customer Service: 877-768-5098
How and Where to Use the SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
Indiana SNAP benefits are provided via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the Indiana SNAP are transferred into the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through Indiana Hoosier Works card. Households and individuals can use their Hoosier Works card at any grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food Stamps authorized stores in State of Indiana. Eligible food items are any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Seeds and plants to grow food for your own family’s consumption are also allowed to be purchased with food stamp benefits. You cannot buy non-grocery items with food stamp benefits, such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco.
I Need Food Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!
Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Assistance Benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources; or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker. Call 1-800-403-0864 for more information on Indiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).